Paternoster’s best kept secret is its winter season. Clear, still days dazzled with sunshine, epitomise winter here. Velvety green carpets of wheat surround the village and southern right whales frolic in the bay, close to shore.
Gone are the strong winds and bleak landscape of summer; winter is the verdant, calm, postcard beautiful time of year in Paternoster. It’s a little piece of Ireland when fog tumbles down the intense green hills; a slice of Greece with whitewashed cottages flanking the coastline. And if a Cape Storm should briefly pass over, simply curl up alongside a roaring log fire and sip a glass of ripe red wine.
Echoing the beauty and uniqueness of Paternoster is Abalone House, the village’s first five-star boutique guesthouse. In every way Abalone House epitomises the finest facets of this oldest fishing village on the Cape West Coast.
Beautifully designed around a central courtyard and lapping swimming pool, each of the 10 suites of Abalone House is completely private and utterly decadent.
While some of the suites have Atlantic views, all have access to private relaxation areas where guests can completely unwind to the sound of waves and wind chimes and there is even a rooftop Jacuzzi with views of the bay and powder white sandy beaches.
In suite, beds are oversized and extra-length – and dressed in elegantly monogrammed percale linen. There’s under-floor heating beneath the luxurious bedroom carpets, as well as in bathrooms which also have wall heaters and heated towel rails to ensure no winter chill intrudes.
A different and oversized Tretchikoff print along with live orchids are the hallmarks running through Abalone House, and at the same time add a dash of quirk and colour to the opulent suites which also boast every imaginable modern convenience.
From the iPod docking station, a flat-screen television, CD and DVD player, to easily accessible extensive book and DVD libraries, entertainment is catered for at every level. Beverages are from the in-suite personal cappuccino/espresso machine or well-stocked mini-bar.
Downstairs, and with its trademark roaring fire and oversized rock fireplace, the Africa Bar is for those looking for a sociable, cosy evening around the fire. Here every tipple imaginable is on offer, from French champagnes and the world’s top six single-malt whiskeys to the finest in brandies and a special selection of cocktails.
For dinner, served in the opulently appointed Saffron Restaurant, chef Darren Stewart serves exquisite world cuisine with his unique African twist. Wherever possible, seafood is sourced locally and is fresh as can be, while traditional South African cuisine also features prominently. Even more up close and personally is dining at the Chef’s Table, which seats up to six guests, in situ right in the kitchen.
Sumptuous breakfasts and afternoon high teas are enjoyed in the sun-drenched Orchid Room that looks out over the sea. Surrounded by exotic orchids inside and indigenous gardens outside, the Orchid Room beckons guests all day long. Relax with a book, play a game, gaze out to the horizon or simply kick back and unwind. That’s what a winter escape is all about, and there’s nowhere cosier than Abalone House.
Abalone House is offering a special winter package of R995 per person sharing, which includes an overnight stay, sumptuous breakfast and indulgent afternoon tea. This rate is available 1 May 2012 – end August 2012 and is subject to availability.